Key Understanding(s)
  • Photosynthesis is the process where energy from the sun is converted into chemical energy that can be utilized by plants and also other organisms higher in the food chain.
  • Living things use matter and energy to build and maintain body structures
  • Communities of organisms depend on the cycling of matter and the flow of energy
  • Energy is stored in the organization of matter – photosynthesis
  • Plants are highly adapted to ensure optimal rate of photosynthesis.
  • Specialised tissues are present in plants that facilitate the movement of water (xylem vessels) and other solutes (phloem tubes) within the plant.
  • Leaves are the main photosynthetic organs of the plants and are adapted for efficient photosynthesis.
  • Many factors exist that can alter the rate of photosynthesis.

Essential Questions
  1. Are we what we eat?
  2. Are plants mainly made of ‘air’?
  3. Why are seaweeds different colours?
  4. Will plants grow in only green light?
  5. How does water get to the top of a giant redwood?

Students should be able to:
  • Explain how a plant is adapted for photosynthesis.
  • Explain the effect of changes in temperature, light intensity, wavelength, carbon dioxide and oxygen concentration on the rate of photosynthesis.
  • Explain how the stomata is able to open and close, in accordance to changes in water potential in the guard cell.
  • Understand the concept of limiting factors in the living system and how it effects reactions.
  • Explain how a plant is adapted for efficient photosynthesis.
  • Draw, label and identify the structures within a leaf, including the different types of cells as seen under a microscope.
  • Show that the rate of photosynthesis is dependent on various factors
  • Understand that transpiration is the process that allows water to constantly move upwards from the roots to the leaves, and is dependent on different processes (root pressure, capillary action and transpiration pull)
  • Describe the full process of photosynthesis with reference to the full equation for photosynthesis.
  • Describe the light-dependent reaction of photosynthesis as involving only water and light, and producing oxygen gas and the energy molecules ATP and NADPH (in simple terms).
  • Describe the light-independent reaction of photosynthesis as involving the products of the light-dependent reaction (ATP and NADPH) converting carbon dioxide to glucose (in simple terms).
  • Explain that ATP is an energy carrier in cells because it has high-energy phosphate bonds that release energy when broken.
  • Explain briefly how glucose can be converted to provide almost all the nutrients required by the plant.
  • Interpret graphs of rate of photosynthesis and plant growth.
  • Practical work to include experiments to investigate the effects of various factors on photosynthesis. Students should able to plan and conduct a scientific experiment and have a full understanding on how various factors affect plant growth and plan an experiment to identify such factors.